Sigur Rós frontman Jónsi released his debut solo album, “Go,” earlier this month to near universal acclaim, since embarking on a world tour of theatrical stage performances to rival the epic grandeur of his album.
A collaborative effort between Jónsi’s team in Reykjavik and the London-based stage production company 59 Productions, the live show incorporates a variety of elements including film, animation, light projection and set design from core contributors Phil Eddols, Bruno Poet, Mark Grimmer, Lysander Ashton and Peter Stenhouse.
Departing from the heartrending swells and crescendos that fill Sigur Rós’ albums to the brim, the arrangements on “Go” often sound quite jubilant, calling to mind the wide-eyed exuberance of a child dashing through forests and fields. Indeed, nature and the animal kingdom in particular, are recurring motifs. Borrowing heavily from these thematic elements, the group at 59, led by creative director Leo Warner, envisioned the production as something of a visual score.
Their point of departure for the physical set design was the book 1000°C: Deyrolle (previously covered on Cool Hunting), a photographic record of the charred remains of a Parisian taxidermy shop largely destroyed in a fire two years ago. Projected onto this set, a series of filmic vignettes includes processed video footage of butterflies in flight, water in motion, and flames licking paper in concert with animated mammals, birds and insects. (Watch several “making of” videos on Jónsi’s media page.)
Does this multidisciplinary production signal a new standard for musical performance? Perhaps, fan reviews of the tour thus far include the words “mindgasm,” “transcendentally beautiful,” “astounding,” “breathtakingly beautiful,” “metamorphosis,” “ingenious,” “soul-shaking” and “spellbound” to call out just a handful. Tickets are still available for upcoming performances in the Midwest, eastern Canada and the East Coast, not to mention Europe. We suggest you grab yours now.
Check out the slide show below, featuring stills from the opening night performance in Vancouver, BC.